B.C. government seeks public input about potential Chinese Canadian museum

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      With Chinese presence in B.C. extending back over 240 years, a possible new museum aims to preserve and honour that extensive history.

      The province and the City of Vancouver are seeking to have Vancouver's Chinatown designated as a United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage site, and are also planning to develop a Chinese Canadian museum.

      Four main options that were listed as under consideration in a March 29 advisory report include:

      • a virtual online museum, which could cost between $1 million to $5 million;
      • a living museum and visitor centre, which would consist of tours and programs (with costs estimated between $5 and $15 million);
      • a history museum, featuring a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions (with costs ranging from $50 million to $100 million);
      • a history museum and cultural centre, which could offer public programming related to Chinese culture and language (with a cost range of $50 million to $100 million).

      B.C. Minister of State George Chow, supported by a working group (comprised of experts in Chinese Canadian heritage and culture, history, museum development, and city planning), is leading the public consultation process.

      According to a December 14 news release, input can be given by email, by phone (778-698-7746 in Victoria or 1-800-663-7867 from elsewhere in B.C.), or online until 4:30 p.m. on February 8, 2019, in English, Cantonese, or Mandarin.

      Community meetings will also be held in Vancouver (January 12), Kamloops (January 19), and Victoria (January 26). Additional meetings may be added.

      Specific dates, times, and locations will be posted on the museum public consultation website.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook